You know that you need to take time for yourself, but it’s hard to find the time or energy to do so. But it’s important to remember that taking time alone is not optional, it’s necessary.
Between work, family obligations, and social commitments it can be hard to find time for yourself. But if you don’t make time for self-care, you will eventually burn out.
That is why it is crucial to schedule time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes a day.
What does it mean to take time for yourself?
Taking time for yourself means doing something that is just for you, without anyone else’s input or approval. It can be anything that brings you joy, helps you relax, or makes you feel good.
Time for yourself doesn’t mean doing chores alone or spending time with your partner or children. It means doing something that is just for you, something that is just for your benefit.
Remember that taking some hours out of your day for self-care doesn’t mean being selfish, it simply means taking care of yourself so that you can be your best self for others.
Is it important to take time for yourself?
Absolutely! In our fast-paced, constantly connected world, it’s more important than ever to take time for yourself. With so many demands in today’s world, it’s easy to forget to take care of our own needs.
There are a few important studies according to Psychology Today that prove that we need to spend time alone.
So if science says it’s important, then it surely is!
Why it is important to make time for yourself?
We know that it is important to take time for ourselves, but why?
Well, when we take time for ourselves, we are able to recharge and rejuvenate. We can take a break from the constant demands of our lives and simply relax.
This allows us to come back to our responsibilities with fresh eyes and a clear mind. We can approach our tasks with more focus and energy, and we are more likely to be successful.
In addition, taking time for ourselves can help reduce stress and anxiety. When we give ourselves a break and practice self-care, we are able to release some of the built-up tension in our bodies. This can lead to improved physical and mental health.
Another crucial reason to take some moment for ourselves is that it can help us to discover our true passions. When we have some time to ourselves, we can explore new hobbies or interests. We can try new things without feeling the pressures of our everyday lives. This can lead to a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in our lives.
Ways to take time for yourself
So often we say “I need time for myself” but we never actually give ourselves that time. We are always busy with work, family, friends, and other obligations.
However, it is crucial to set aside moments for yourself. Here are some ways to do that:
1. Get up earlier
Getting up before everyone else gives you a chance to enjoy some peace and quiet.
It also allows you to start your day on a positive note, without the stress of rushing around.
In addition, waking up early gives you an opportunity to get things done before the demands of the day begin. Whether you use the time to exercise, meditate, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee in silence, getting up early can help you feel more refreshed and relaxed.
So if you’re looking for ways to make time for yourself, set your alarm clock a little earlier and reap the benefits of a quiet morning.
2. Schedule “me time” in the calendar
Do you want to take a dancing class? Or a yoga class? Or maybe you just want to have lunch by yourself?
Whatever it is, schedule it in your calendar like you would any other meeting or obligation. This will help you make time for it and ensure that you stick to it.
Learn to make it as important as any other meeting in your calendar, and you’ll be more likely to actually do it.
Moreover, by setting these moments aside in advance, you won’t have to waste time trying to figure out what to do with yourself when the moment comes. You will know exactly when and what to do.
3. Say no sometimes
By learning to set boundaries and saying no to things that we don’t want or need to do, we can create more space in our lives for the things that matter most to us.
And, contrary to popular belief, saying no does not have to be rude or unkind. I am sure people will understand if you explain that you need some time for yourself.
It can be difficult to say no, as we often feel obligated to please others. However, it is important to remember that you cannot please everyone. By setting boundaries and saying no when needed, you can make sure that you have time for the things that are most important to you.
In the end, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others.
4. Be mindful of your screen time
Often we have time without even realizing it. But we spend it mindlessly scrolling through social media or watching TV.
Moreover, turning off notifications can help reduce the urge to reach for your phone every time you hear a ding.
If you find that you are spending too many hours on your phone or in front of the TV, try setting a limit for yourself. There are apps that can help you with this, or you can simply set a timer. Once the timer goes off, put your phone away and do something else.
By being mindful of your screen time, you can make sure that you are using your time in a way that is productive and satisfying.
If you want more information about the reduction of screen time, check out this article by CNBC.
5. Delegate responsabilities
I know you want to do everything yourself. And so do I.
But the truth is, we can’t. And we shouldn’t try to.
There is a thin line between being able to do everything yourself and being overwhelmed by everything you have to do.
By learning to delegate, we can take some of the pressure off of ourselves and free up some time.
You don’t have to be a manager to delegate responsibilities. If you have a family, delegate tasks to your spouse or children. For instance, you can delegate grocery shopping to your spouse, and homework help to your children (make it fun for them!).
If you are your own boss, maybe you need to hire an assistant.
Whatever it is, if possible, try to delegate at least some of your responsibilities that you feel are taking up too much of your time. This will surely help you to have more moments for yourself.
6. Schedule time for hobbies regularly
Hobbies are a great way to relax and unwind. But often, we don’t make time for them because we feel like we don’t have the time.
The truth is, we can always make time for things that are important to us. We just need to make it a priority.
Find an activity that you enjoy and do it every week. Whether it’s painting, hiking, biking, playing an instrument, or something else, find something that you can do regularly that brings you joy.
And if you can’t find the time to do it every week, try doing it every other week. The important thing is that you make time for it on a regular basis.
By making time for your hobbies, you can make sure that you have some moments for the things that bring you joy.
7. Reevaluate your definition of “time for myself”
We think that taking some hours for ourselves is selfish. And we put it as the last priority. There are always things that we have to do first.
But what if we changed our definition of “time for myself”? What if we thought of it as “time to recharge my batteries” or “time to refuel”?
When we put it in these terms, it becomes clear that taking care of ourselves is just as important as taking care of others. If we don’t recharge our batteries, we won’t be able to put our best foot forward.
It’s time to change the way we think about “time for myself.” Again, it’s not selfish. It’s necessary.
8. Take a break, or a vacation
You might be close to burnout. You might be putting in too many hours at work. Or you might be taking on too many responsibilities.
If any of these things are true, you need to take a break.
You don’t have to quit your job or drop everything in your life. But you do need to take a step back and assess what is really important.
Take some time only for yourself. Go on vacation. Disconnect from work. And find what is truly important to you.
By taking a break, you can make sure that you are taking care of yourself. And you can come back refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
And I would say it’s the best way of taking care of yourself.
If you need more insights to convince you, Forbes has a great article about the importance of taking a break/vacation.
9. Create a routine
Being hectic and disorganized often leads to not having enough time for ourselves. So, one of the best things you can do is to create a routine.
A routine will help you to be more productive and efficient with your time. It will also help you to make time for yourself.
Having a simple daily routine can make a world of difference.
Wake up at the same time every day. Eat breakfast. Meditate. Yoga. These are all simple things that you can do to start your day off on the right foot.
If you want to learn how to create a simple daily routine, check out this article.
10. Be intentional with your time
When it comes to making time for ourselves, we often don’t do it because we don’t think about it. It’s not that we don’t want to. We just don’t think about it.
But if we want to make time for ourselves, we need to be intentional about it. We need to make a conscious decision to do it.
For instance, as you wake up, set up an intention in your mind (or write it down) to take care of yourself. And by being intentional on that day, you might notice that your mind tries to make space for meditation today. “Oh, I will have 10 free minutes before picking up kids from school, I can meditate during that time”. This is how intention works.
Set the intention to take care of yourself today and let it guide you throughout the day.
Here is a guide on how to be more intentional every day.
11. Set boundaries
It’s so hard to set boundaries when we live in a society that is always on. We are expected to be available 24/7.
But if we want to make time for ourselves, we need to set boundaries. We need to turn off our phones sometimes. We need to say no to plans. And we need to set aside time that is just for us.
How to do that? For instance, let’s assume that you want to have a few hours where you don’t work. You can start by setting the intention for that day (see above).
Then, you can start to set boundaries around your time.
If you usually work from home, make a rule that you will not work after 6 pm. Or, if you are usually available by phone, make a rule that you will not answer your phone after a specific time.
In case you have an office job, try to leave work on time. Or, if you can’t do that, try to take a few minutes for yourself before starting to work.
The important thing is that you set the boundary. And that you stick to it.
It will be hard at first. But it will get easier with time.
For more tips on how to set boundaries, check out this guide.
What can you do during “me time”?
The possibilities are endless! Here are only a few ideas:
- Practice mindfulness. It can be as simple as focusing on your breath for a few minutes.
- Work on a personal project. This can be something creative, like painting or writing, or something practical, like organizing your home.
- Journal. Write about your day, your thoughts and feelings, or anything else that’s on your mind.
- Go for a walk in the middle of nature, like in a forest.
- Take a relaxing bath. Add some soothing aromatherapy or a few drops of lavender oil to help you unwind.
- Take yourself on a date. Go to a new restaurant, explore a new part of town, or see a movie by yourself.
- Attend a yoga class. What can be more relaxing than some good old-fashioned stretching and deep breathing?
- Bake something. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh-baked cookies or bread to boost your mood.
- Pamper yourself. Get a massage, a manicure, or a pedicure.
- Take a nap. Sometimes all you need is a little shut-eye to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Disconnect from social media and enjoy silence. This one can be tough, but it’s important to disconnect from the digital world and focus on the present moment.
As I said, the possibilities are endless. The essential thing is that you do something that makes you happy and that fills you with energy.
Here are some more ideas:
Even if you are busy and have a lot going on in your life, you can still find time for yourself.
Remember not to feel guilty about taking some time for self-care. You deserve it!
Also, keep in mind that taking time for yourself is not selfish. On the contrary, it can actually make you a better person. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of others.
So, make a commitment to yourself to take some time for yourself every day. And see how it makes you feel.
I hope you found some useful tips in this article. And I hope it inspired you to take some time for yourself.
Have a sunny day! And enjoy the self-care!